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Retired HWS professor ends weekly protests

Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a retired professor have come to a truce, thanks to the Colleges’ new president, Joyce Jacobsen.

Dan McGowan, a professor emeritus at HWS, said he has ended his weekly vigils in front of St. John’s Chapel on South Main Street over the suspension of his HWS email privileges by HWS administration for what he perceived was an innocent piece of correspondence on the Colleges’ email service in September 2017: “I was delighted to see that HWS will have a theatre production of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche … While I have limited thespian experience, I have played a gluten-free, fair-trade quiche and as a faculty emeritus, I am willing to serve in this production.”

McGowan considered it a joke, but it apparently infuriated some faculty at HWS — and they filed a Bias Incident Response Team report. In turn, the Colleges’ director of human resources, Sonya Williams, said McGowan was charged with “prohibited conduct and inappropriate behavior.”

His punishment: the loss of his college email that includes his contacts and calendar.

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